ARe you interested in leading an international school?

Do you want to meet and network with a group of like-minded leaders from diverse international schools?

Do you want to prepare for your first years as a headteacher?

The COBIS Programme for Aspiring Heads (CPAH) is a professional development programme for Aspiring Heads and Senior Leaders who are interested in developing their practice. The course runs over a period of eight to ten months, combining face-to-face sessions with a choice of in-school projects and optional school placements. The course is facilitated by trained COBIS facilitators who are practising international school leaders with extensive experience of headship in COBIS schools. 

Click here to download the CPAH Programme Guide

Course content includes:

  • Personal target setting and models of intentional change
  • Educational philosophy and vision applied to decision making
  • Considering the move to strategy and context
  • Mapping out the first 100 days of headship
  • Collaborative and network learning
  • Governance and governors
  • Financial management in international schools
  • Engaging with stakeholders
  • Choice of assessments in the areas of leading change, transforming and building teams, communication, and optional school placements, taking advantage of delegates own context and allowing the development of in-school project

Course structure:

  • Initial self-assessment and pre-reading
  • 3 days of facilitated face-to-face sessions in the autumn term
  • Choice of 3 assignments which can include optional school placements shadowing senior leaders
  • 3 days of facilitated face-to-face sessions in the spring/summer term including participant presentations 
  • Networking, support and further activities throughout the course delivered through the online learning platform

Why choose the CPAH?:

  • A tremendous opportunity to learn from and with other international school practitioners
  • A suitable qualification to prepare you for headship in an international school; recognised by international school governing bodies
  • A natural progression from the COBIS Programme for Middle Leaders (CPML)
  • An opportunity to explore questions such as:
    • What kind of leader are you?
    • How would you lead and manage people?
    • How would you lead and manage teaching and learning?
    • What curriculum will be right for your school?

Location, Dates, Fees, Booking Forms:

There will not be any new CPAH cohorts in 2020/21. To register your interest in joining the CPAH from autumn 2021, please email 


“For me, the most rewarding part of the CPAH programme was the opportunity to learn from experienced Principals who spoke openly about the challenges and joys of leadership. Hearing first-hand about leading and collaborating with key stakeholders was eye opening.  It was also invaluable learning from, and sharing experiences with, colleagues from other international schools who were experiencing many of the same situations as me: there was a culture of trust and professionalism which allowed us all to air our concerns and offer support to each other.”

"The benefit of the face to face sessions was immense as you were immersed in learning and leadership away from the pressures of your own school. The conversations and networking are invaluable."

"The CPAH allowed me to confirm what accountability looks like in high performing schools and different contexts. It allowed me to refine my approach in problem solving, delegation and leading strategically."

"I am a better leader now than before undertaking the CPAH, mainly down to learning from others and reflecting on my own practice… The learning points from this year will have a positive impact on teaching and learning in the next academic year."

"It has encouraged me to look at my leadership and to focus upon areas that I need to develop. Overall, it was a very beneficial experience."

"The programme was excellent. The teaching and instruction was first class. I found [the facilitators] empathetic, caring and approachable."

"The facilitators were excellent… They were willing to speak candidly about their senior leadership experiences and answer any questions we had. I feel I am now in a position to be a better leader and know what my strengths and weaknesses are. Thank you for all your help, support and advice."

"The course was excellent… from learning about colleagues' schools and practices, to advancing my own professional development. There were a range of peers on the course, all at different stages of their career, and I enjoyed discussing their wide variety of experiences. I thought [the facilitators] were quite superb in the way that they fostered dialogue and engagement, leading one to become actively involved from the outset. It was superb to learn from exceptional school leaders like this."

“The interview session on the course and the 100 day reflection were very valuable and I used them in my interview process straight after the course. I secured a new position almost days after the face-to-face sessions ended, and I will be putting into action the 100 day reflection. What I will be doing during that time will be directly related to what I learnt on the course.”

More information:

To download the CPAH programme guide, please click here. If you have any queries about the course, please contact